ONE Championship weigh-in drama as fighters miss mark for Prime Video debut – and Rodtang withdraws
- Rodtang pulls out of flyweight Muay Thai Grand Prix semi-final on a dramatic morning in Singapore
- Late replacement Panpayak and flyweight MMA champion Adriano Moraes pass final checks after missing weight
There was plenty of drama at Friday morning’s ONE Championship ceremonial weigh-ins, with several high-profile fighters missing weight and hydration.
Chief among them was Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
It was announced during the official broadcast that “The Iron Man” has withdrawn from the martial arts promotion’s flyweight Muay Thai Grand Prix.
Divisional champ Rodtang, 25, will no longer face Savvas Michael in the tournament semi-finals at ONE on Prime Video 1 on Saturday morning in Singapore – the promotion’s debut card on Amazon’s streaming service in US prime time.
Cypriot Michael will now take on Thailand’s Panpayak Jitmuangnon, who had been set to compete in an alternate bout against Sherzod Kabutov.
“The Babyface Killer” Michael weighed in 134.25lbs, while Panpayak came in slightly heavy at 135.25lbs. He had until 4pm Singapore time to pass on Friday, which a source told the Post he duly did, ensuring the fight would go ahead.
Another notable miss came from former welterweight MMA champion Zebaztian Kadestam. “The Bandit” weighed in at 188.5lbs for his clash with Iuri Lapicus, who was on the dot at 185lbs.
Both Lin Heqin of China and Itsuki Hirata failed hydration tests for their atomweight MMA bout. Japan’s Hirata also missed weight at 115.75lbs. They also had until 4pm to pass final checks, but it was uncertain if they did so.
Amber Kitchen and Diandra Martin were both on the mark at 127.5lbs for their catchweight Muay Thai bout, as were Walter Goncalves and Superlek Kiatmoo9, who weighed in at 135lbs for their flyweight Muay Thai Grand Prix semi-final.
There were no problems with the two heavyweight MMA fights. Italy’s Mauro Cerilli (259.5lbs) will take on Iranian Amir Aliakbari ()258.75lbs), before the Belarusian Kirill Grishenko (253.5lbs) battles Brazil’s Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida (257.75lbs).
The co-main event is set, with England’s “Hitman” Liam Harrison (145lbs) and the bantamweight Muay Thai champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao (144.5lbs) making weight.
“Liam, last fight you called me out,” the Thai champion said on stage at Singapore Indoor Stadium. “I will show you that you made a big mistake.”
The main event suffered a slight hiccup, with flyweight MMA champ Adriano Moraes narrowly missing weight (135.25lbs) and hydration. A source told the Post that the Brazilian passed his 4pm checks.
American challenger Demetrious Johnson was on point at 134.75lbs, and promised to avenge his shock knockout defeat by Moraes in April 2021.
“Tomorrow I get the opportunity to exact revenge,” the legendary former UFC champ Johnson said. “It’s a storyline in my arc for redemption. I’m coming back with a brand new belt, and it’s gonna be ‘and new’. Let’s go.”
Moraes confidently predicted he would still be holding the belt at the end of Saturday’s show, which airs on Friday night in the US.
“Oh yeah, the champ is here,” Moraes said. “When one thing is good, you need to do it twice. I’m here to keep making history. I can’t wait to win this fight again – ‘and still’ the champion.”